15th Annual Neil Edgeworth Banked Slalom
Big White is getting ready to host the 15th annual Neil Edgeworth Banked Slalom this weekend. This event is in memory of Neil Edgeworth, an influential Canadian snowboarder who passed away in 1997 in an avalanche in Chamonix, France while filming a photo shoot with friends. The first banked slalom was in 1987 and was reintroduced in 1997 with an average of 245 people per year.
The course starts near the top of the Ridge Rocket Chair, at the top of Roller Coaster and is made up of banked turns in a natural gully and ends on Speculation. Competitors are grouped by age, gender and skill level, and complete one timed run down the race course on each of the two days of the event. The fastest time is taken for the rider’s placement.
There are several age categories, with 62 being the oldest competitor registered and 9 being the youngest currently registered. The Mayor of West Kelowna, Doug Findlater who usually competes, has broken his leg and won’t be competing this year. His wife Willie, and their son David will however compete in this year’s Banked Slalom.
Flynn Seddon, Director of Terrain Park at Big White Ski Resort commented, "The Neil Edgeworth banked slalom has defined itself as an epic true spirit gathering for the sport of snowboarding. The gathering represents what snowboarding is all about and that is friends having fun. The industry sponsors who support the banked slalom showed just how much it means to be a part of the weekend by donating over $25,000 worth of prizing and $5000 dollars in cash."
There are some serious Pros here for this event including Maelle Ricker, who won the Baker Banked Slalom, and took Gold at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics in Snowboard Cross.
On The Men’s side, there is Kevin Hill from Vernon, last year’s Silver medalist at the Winter X-Games in Snowboard Cross. There is also Mark Fawsett, who participated in the first snowboarding Olympic event in 1998 for PGS and is now a National team coach, and last year's Neil Edgeworth Pro Winner.
Carly Thorp, an ex-Provincial Team and National Team member, and the other Neil Edgeworth Pro winner from last year is expected to return.
There are still spots available but these spots will book up quickly this week. To Register, click here.